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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English boþe, from Old Norse báðir, from Proto-Germanic *bai-. Cognate with German beide(both), Dutch beide(both), Swedish både, båda, Danish både, Icelandic báðir.




  1. Each of the two; one and the other; referring to two individuals or items
    "Did you want this one or that one?" — "Give me both."
    Both children are such dolls.
    • Bible, Genesis xxi. 27
      Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
    • Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751)
      He will not bear the loss of his rank, because he can bear the loss of his estate; but he will bear both, because he is prepared for both.
  2. Each of the two kinds; one and the other kind; referring to several individuals or items which are divided into two groups
    I ate five strawberry sweets and three chocolate sweets. Both were very tasty.
    • 2013 July 19, Ian Sample, “Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 34:
      Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.  ¶ Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.




  1. including both of (used with and)
    Both you and I are students.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, An Autobiography, Part II, chapter4:
      Mind you, clothes were clothes in those days. There was a great deal of them, lavish both in material and in workmanship.
  2. (obsolete) including all of (used with and).



See also[edit]


Most common English words before 1923: thing · set · told · #197: both · having · look · heard



From Old Irish both(hut, bothy, cot; cabin), from Proto-Celtic *butā (compare Middle Welsh bot(dwelling)), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰuH-(to be).



both f (genitive singular botha, nominative plural bothanna)

  1. booth, hut


Alternative declension

Derived terms[edit]

  • bothach(hutted, full of huts, adj)
  • bothán m(shanty, cabin; hut, shed, coop)
  • bothchampa m(hutment)
  • bothóg f(shanty, cabin)


Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
both bhoth mboth
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.


  • "both" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
  • 2 both” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.

Old Irish[edit]



  1. preterite passive conjunct of at·tá